Been reading all the posts on this forum on the effects of changing the wheels on the leaf since I wanted to upgrade from the stock 17" wheels on the 2015 SL to a 18" wheel. I saw most people said that there would be about a 10% hit to efficiency. So I tried to look for the lightest options for an 18" wheel. The Enkei RP01 was pretty light (17.6lb) in the 18x7.5 with a 48 offset but did not care for the lip which makes the overall wheel look smaller. Then I found TSW and they had some wheels that were roll forged which makes them strong and light, I finally picked the TSW Nurburgring in a 18x7.5 with at 45 offset which is 18lbs, just slightly heavier then the RP01. My goal was to keep the wheel and tire combo as light as possible. The Michelin tires 225/45-18 I chose were 24lb and with the TSW wheel totaled 42lb compared to the original wheel and tires at 47lb, a weight reduction of 5lb at each corner. I ordered the wheels 2 weeks ago from Americas tire and had them installed, they installed one rear wheel and it looked great but when they installed the front wheel, the wheel cleared the brake caliber but the drive shaft end stuck out to far and the center cap would not fit. Most of the posts warns about not clearing the caliper but nothing about the drive shaft end sticks out pretty far out. Luckily since it really did not fit correctly they called TSW and they said that the 18x8 with a 35 offset would fit with no problems at all and order replacement wheels. The only reason originally I did not want to get the wider wheel was that it was 1lb heavier and the 35 offset would push the wheel to the very edge of the fender which was a concern since I was going to lower the car and did not want any issues with rubbing. So 1 week later I went back and got the new set installed and it looked great, but my concern was correct. The wheel was flush with the fender, which does look great and aggressive but a big concern with rubbing if lowered. Car handled better with a bit more road feel, but the ultimate issue (impact to efficiency). I drove the car for a week now and I do see about 5-10% impact to overall efficiency even though the wheel and tire were 4lb lighter at each corner. I thought the roll forging of the this wheel would help reduce the outer weight of the rim and not impact efficiency. Maybe it could be the aerodynamics of the wheel and tire just sticking out just a bit from the front bumper, who knows. Oh well, I still love the look and can live with a little less range with my commute and be able to charge.
Part two of this upgrade, the coilovers. There were not very many choices out there, most I saw on the posts showed springs and coilovers bought directly from Japan which I did not want to do. Luckily there was one manufacture that offered coilovers (Megan Racing). Granted they look like copies of the Blitz coilovers, only difference is the color of the parts, Blue vs. Red for Blitz. The quality is pretty good, the instructions were a bit lacking. But since I have worked on cars in the past it was not too difficult at all. I installed the coilovers straight out of the box with no adjustment to height. The rear was lowered with about a 2 finger gap, but the front for some reason had a 4 finger gap, compared to original was about a 3 finger gap all around. Went for a quick drive and no issues with rubbing of any sort and the ride was a bit firm but not harsh. Went back home and had to adjust the front shock bodies but had to do a trial and error about 4 times of adjustment, installing the wheel, lower the car, and jacking it back up again. At least that was on one side, the other side I just had to do trial and error twice since I took the measurement from the other side. The car looked great with about a 2 finger gap all around, now the ultimate issue with lowering the car that far, rubbing!! Took the car out for a spin, had good clearance with the bumper to the road going down my driveway (plus 1), went around 2 miles and no rubbing at all. Did not really find any bad roads to really test it out but so far so good. Came back home and inspected everything and it looked like the front wheels of course had more negative camber due to being lowered (expected), maybe that helps out with the rubbing issue. But because I want everything to be aligned correctly I also bought a set of Eibach camber bolts for the front and went back in and installed the camber bolts. I thought I was just setting them to a neutral position so that I had them installed before I go get an alignment which then the camber can be adjusted on the rack. But to my surprise after installing the camber bolts I got lucky and it looks like I actually corrected the negative camber and both wheels were like back to 0 degrees camber (plus 2). Of course this is just eyeballing it, but for sure better than earlier. Now the front wheels are perfectly straight again and just flush with the fender, looks great but does it rub?? Took the car out again for another spin and a longer one this time and found some bumpy roads. Surprising, no rubbing at all!!! I really got lucky, great aggressive look and no rubbing issues (plus 3). The ride is a bit firmer and can feel the bigger dips and bumps, will just have to be a little more careful going over big bumps now. And the front the front bumper still has good clearance with parking blocks still.
Final note, the new set of wheels and tires were a total of 16lbs less and the coilovers were actually 6lbs lighter than the factory suspension, thats a total of 22lbs less weight with an improvement to the looks and better handling. Now gotta get the alignment and drive my commute for a week to see if the efficiency got better or even worse now.
After side pic
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